Monday night, in the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, it was the Gophers who roared.
By the time Minnesota had earned its first winning streak of the season, the Gophers had outscored Penn State by 19 points over the final 8 minutes and 18 seconds of the game, coming back from 10 down to win 85-76.
It was the second straight Big Ten Conference victory for the Gophers (4-7, 3-6), and it featured a 28-9 run and furious finish after a third quarter that, frankly, made coach Lindsay Whalen furious, period.
"I blew my top in the third,'' Whalen said. "I told the guys….'' At that point Whalen paused, deciding it wasn't the right time for full disclosure. But: "Then I took my deep breath. I said, 'Dig in, get stops. We can win this thing. Third quarter we were playing frustrated, coaching frustrated. But then we started moving a little on offense, getting stops on defense."
Sara Scalia made a career-high five three-pointers and scored a season-high 21, eight coming in the fourth.
Jasmine Powell finished with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, scoring nine in the fourth. Gadiva Hubbard scored 18, but twisted her ankle late. On her birthday, Kadi Sissoko had 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Gophers led by two at the half, but were outscored 21-12 in the third while making just five of 20 shots.
But the fourth quarter was another story.
Down 10 with 8:18 left after Penn State's Niya Beverley scored, Scalia started the comeback with a three 10 seconds later.
Sissoko put back her own miss on Minnesota's next possession. After getting a stop, Scalia hit a second-chance three. Moments later, with Penn State in a scoring drought, Scalia missed a three-pointer, but Kayla Mershon got the rebound, got the ball to Powell, who hit a three from right in front of the Gophers bench. Minnesota was on an 11-0 run and had the lead.
Fast-forward a minute and a half. Makenna Marisa's three-point play with 3:08 left tied the score at 72, but Hubbard drove and scored.
The Gophers never trailed again. Laura Bagwell-Katalinich (eight points, six boards) scored with 1:53 left to make it a four-point game, then the Gophers made nine of 10 free throws down the stretch.
"I'm proud of a lot of good individual performances,'' Whalen said. "But it was our resolve, after the third quarter, down seven going into the fourth. We doubled 'em up there in the fourth. We wore 'em down. I'm happy with this road win. I'm proud of the team as a whole."
In the 32-16 fourth quarter the Gophers held Penn State to 7-for-20 shooting while shooting 8-for-14 themselves. The Gophers made eight of 14 shots in the fourth, getting their own rebound on four of those six misses and scoring 10 second-chance points.
Marisa scored a game-high 25 for Penn State, which was playing without Kelly Jekot, their leading scorer, who is injured. Johnasia Cash had 22 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out late. Penn State (4-7, 1-6) scored 16 points on the break in the first half, just three in the second.
"It was fun to see them work through adversity and grind through the fourth quarter together,'' Whalen said.
The Star Tribune did not travel for this game. This article was written using the television broadcast and video interviews after the game.